Thailandsurvival Week 1

Day 1

1.5 hour ride to  the airport, 7 hours flight to Dubai, 2.5 hour stopover, 6 hours flight to Bangkok, 3 hours drive to Hua Hin

Upon arriving at the villa a shower was first and foremost on my mind, evaluating each of the three bathrooms and opting for the most spacious and luxuriant I stripped off my sweat laden clothes and stepped into the double cubicle..   The shower gurgled and nothing came out,  I checked the taps in the sink but nothing but a trickle of brown water.  I tried flushing a toilet and still nothing, I checked the other two bathrooms and it was the same story.   I found myself in a bit of a pickle.

I pondered taking the shower gel into the jacuzzi adjoining the pool but turned to a pack of travel wet wipes for comfort and sent a text to the villa owner.

Jet lag quickly ensued and I snoozed around the villa, taking in two bedrooms, the sofa and the outside seating area, habits I must have picked, up from my cat.

I flew with Emirates who I read constantly get voted as one of the best airlines, the voting must have been rigged as it was quite possibly the most unpleasant experience I have had.  The opening trip from London to Dubai was packed and I am sure they had people sat in the aisles and stuffed in the overhead compartments.

We arrived at our seats to find them occupied by a lady and her child, she had another child in a pappoose – people will try anything to get round the hand luggage allowance.  I gave them their marching orders and settled in for the flight.

A melee erupted before take off, an Arab man was not too pleased to be seated next to his wives, so he instigated a mass musical chairs to ensure they were sat behind him a couple of rows.  At least they could now watch Sex and the City 2 away from his critical gaze.

The staff were not up to scratch, they forgot about the last food service and rushed to throw food at people with half an hour to landing, we found a salmon sandwich and a portion of jam land on our laps, an unusual concoction, needless to say I never ate it.

The second flight I tried to be crafty and book the aisle and the window seat imagining no one would choose to sit in the middle of pre-booked seats, I have done this on previous flights and works every time so we have 3 seats to ourselves.  As I walked up the aisle I could see someone had indeed booked the seat, a large rotund man.   Thailand do get their fair share of old single male travellers, Thai girls seem to have a penchant for them for some reason.

I asked if he wanted the window seat which he duly did so we could sit at the end, he was so big that the armrests could not be lowered, his arms had to be crossed resting on his belly but his grip kept slacking meaning his hand would fall into my lap.   Later on in the flight he had tried turning on his side to sleep so I had his rather voluminous rear pointing at me, gradually pushing me out of my seat, I was praying he didn’t get night farts.

We decided to watch a movie but my friend’s sound wasn’t working, the stewardess offered some magazines but there are only so much enjoyment to be had from the inflight magazine and a National Geographic.  Faced with no other seats he had to place his earphones in my unit so we could watch the same film and synch our screens to start playing at the same time to avoid Daniel Craig looking like he was being dubbed.

Home for 2 weeks

Day 2

The water was reinstalled at 8am, a truck turned up to fill the water tank and a long overdue shower was finally achieved.,

We grabbed a tuk tuk with the aim of procuring a hire car.   My friend became cranky walking the streets for breakfast and upon passing a McDonald’s insisted they are going in and didn’t care what I thought,  I bit the bullet as an argument on day 2 of the holiday would not have been needed.  The coffee was like the brown water from the taps at the villa and the Sausage and Egg Mcmuffin was like chewing cardboard.

Failing on the car hire front we stopped off for supplies at a mall when the heavens opened and for the next hour blanketed the streets in a flowing stream, at the entrance to the mall was the only place to sit and wait for it to end – it was a  Starbucks.   I exhaled a desperate sigh, after avoiding chains for years I was forced to go to the worst perpetrators twice in a day.   I supped the equivalent of a £5 latte staring out at the rain and wondered how great it would be when I arrived in Thailand.

After stocking up at Tesco (the British chains have also invaded) we headed back to the villa to catch some sun that had shown its face after the downpour.

Later, we headed back into town, Hua Hin so far is a wonderful town, very laid back mainly due to the omission fo the sex industry prevalent in other built up parts of Thailand.   Restaurants line the beach boasting dining piers jutting out to sea, we opted for a quieter Thai restaurant, whilst not the cheapest by Thai standards, was a bargain by British standards and was predictably delicious.

We sat eating dinner watching the people pass by.  At one point we could hear singing growing louder and louder, a white stick appeared waving past the front of the restaurant followed by a woman carrying it, she also carried a music player from which the tune we heard originated, she led a man himself carrying a white stick and singing into a microphone.  This genuinely was the blind leading the blind and singing karaoke to boot.

The next perpetrator to walk past was selling his wares,  a wooden elephant decoration, but when tilted to its side the centre of it fell out concertina like to make a fruit bowl.   If you have run out of fruit you could just stand the elephant up and receive envious glances from your guests, but after stocking upon on groceries you simply place it on its side and you have a handy fruit bowl.  I wondered just how much my sister would hate it as a gift and made a mental note to pick one up before I leave.

As we were finishing our meal a waft of perfume overpowered us, a German lady swanned in followed by the shuffling feet of her husband, she was dressed to the nines , heavily made up and her perfume seemed to be regenerating sending out fresh scents continuously, I imagined she had an entourage of Thai girls following behind her misting her at regular intervals.

She picked the table next to ours, smiling at us and whispering ‘Good evening’  She ordered her husband to sit and quickly ordered herself  a bottle of wine, the love appeared to have gone from their marriage.  She poured herself some of the wine before her food order was taken glancing over at us and adjusting her shawl lower…

Husband to waitress: “I’d like the shrimp spring roll please”

Waitress: “Vegetable spring roll?”

Husband: “No, shrimp”

Waitress: “And for you madam?”

Wife: “No shrimp for me, that is all I get from my husband, I long for bratwurst and only get shrimp”

We get up to leave after settling our bill..

Wife whispers to us: “Silom Hotel room 35”

Husband (looks wife up and down): “Darling, a pig wearing make up is still a pig”

Wife still smiling at boys says through gritted teeth: “Fuck off Dieter”

(Some of the dialogue may not have happened)

Moo!

Day 3

The water ran out again, I called to order more which duly arrived, I am now suspicious, the tank holds 2000 litres but we have been having short showers and decanting water from the pool into a bucket to flush the toilet with, tricks learnt from austerity minded parents from using collected rainwater.

Later, pool cleaners arrived and proceed to use my newly acquired water to replenish the pool water.  I look on in disgust.

Day 4

The villa owner popped by and I questioned whether the water could be leaking into the ground, he shrugged this off even after I showed him my file where I had collected and graphed data showing our water usage throughout our stay, even after I completed my Powerpoint presentation of my findings he still didn’t take me seriously.

Lizard disregards its no carb diet

Day 5

Gardener arrived and watered the entire grounds using our water.  Tried showering and it ran out, ordered more.

Think I am getting the beginnings of a head cold.

Went to dinner at a swanky hotel spread over their well landscaped grounds, delicious Thai fare and cocktails, entertainment from traditional music and dance.  Almost got away with passing ourselves off as hotel guests by accident, almost.

Shadows

Day 6

Yes, I’m sick, runny nose and sore throat.

Went for a pizza, surly service.   This is something noticeable from this trip compared to a previous trip to another part of Thailand in that the service is not as good.  In other parts it’s apparent they are very attentive but it has never come across as fake, just genuinely friendly.  The clientele base of Hua Hin is very different though, it’s where Thai people come to holiday therefore they don’t need the farangs (foreigners) money as much as other cities do.

Of course they are still extremely friendly, I’m getting to like this town, it is more laid back than other parts of Thailand I’ve been, there is no real late night scene, definitely no seedy side of bars and prostitution, if it is it is very well hidden, I read this is due to it being a Royal town and the King’s holiday residence.  So it doesn’t have the smell of desperation from dirty old men, no sign of a backpackers scene, no party scene for the clubbing generation.  This weekend sees the Bangkok to Hua Hin vintage car rally, wealthy Thai’s parade their classic cars about town, this sums up the feel of Hua Hin, a certain affluence by Thai standards.

Day 7

Sickness dissipating, I’ve noticed each day there are less and less events for me to write about, it doesn’t take long to climatise to the pace of life here and relax completely, I hope my cynicism is just napping, I’ll need that when I’m back in London.

Finally found a hire car for the next week, they are dropping it off at the villa tomorrow, will be great to explore and take my camera out since I have only photographed within the walls of my villa enclave.  I can’t be bothered dragging it around on the tuk tuks, I have this paranoia where I don’t want to stand out as a tourist wherever I go which is ludicrous as it’s quite clear that I am from my sunburn. Luckily I will never have the need for an oversized map or guidebook, with months of planning everything is cemented in my brain already.

Popped by the tattoo parlour to book myself in for next week, the little Thai woman I found to do it was already busy, her husband (I think)  an elderly German gent assisted me.  I had seen him sitting outside with another German women so thought they were just a couple of leathery old soaks.   Upon him following me inside he said, “You arrived at the perfect time, this woman is driving me crazy!  She talks to me in German, blah blah”  He measured up my arm to determine how they will fit the tattoo, I would say I have average arms, I was quoted 10 hours work and about £500, it’s fairly big so am having it scaled down to knock some hours off and some cost, still miles cheaper than in the UK and the little Thai woman is an internationally award-winning tattooist (apparently)  I haven’t investigated the validity of her claims.

Flowers in the villa garden

Coming up in next week’s instalment of Thailandsurvival – read about my night at a Thai boxing bout, the visit to the night market, the trek to monkey mountain, the trials of getting tattooed and my descent into madness as they begin construction of a villa next door as my peace is disturbed by the buzz of industrial machinery.

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6 Comments

  1. Laughed so hard, has to be my favorite line…
    Jet lag quickly ensued and I snoozed around the villa, taking in two bedrooms, the sofa and the outside seating area, habits I must have picked, up from my cat.

    LOL another good one…
    I was praying he didn’t get night farts.

    I can’t wait for next week. That tattoo has me worried!

    Reply
  2. Thailand is on my bucket list. Thanks for the tour. I doubt if I can make mine as hilarious. wonderful.

    Reply
  3. It’s agreat place, the people are the friendliest of anywhere I’ve been, great for different types of holiday, island hopping, cities, budget or luxury. Suppose that’s anywhere, but you just need to heed the rainy seasons in different areas, been caught out once before.

    Reply
  4. 7 am and I thought I would do a little catch up on blogs and I see this “night farts” oh my…laughing so hard. Glad you seem to be having a nice time (I despise Starbuck’s by the way) and good luck on more water!

    Reply

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